Violinists in orchestra
Photo: Larisa Birta/ Unsplash

Norwegian music room standard sold worldwide

The Norwegian standard for the acoustics of rooms for music rehearsal and performance has gained considerable international recognition and been sold to many countries, including Australia and Mongolia.

The standard, NS 8178, describes criteria for acoustic conditions in rehearsal rooms and small concert halls or multi-purpose halls. The standard was published in Norway in 2014, and shortly afterwards was translated into English. Since then it has been sold to Brazil, Mongolia, Australia and China, in addition to a number of countries in Europe – a total of 21 countries, according to Standards Norway.

Fills a gap

Iiris Turunen-Rindel

Iiris Turunen-Rindel, Standards Norway

Standards Norway’s Project Manager Iiris Turunen-Rindel has experienced interest from around the world, most recently when she attended ISRA 2019, an international symposium that brings together the world’s leading experts in room acoustics every three years.

“Acousticians from various countries signalled their interest, saying that the Norwegian standard covers a need that is not met by other standards,” she reports.

In the UK, the standard has been used to design rehearsal rooms, while in Hungary it has been used as the basis for an extensive research project.

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

In Australia, NS 8178 has been used to plan the new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. In partnership with John Wardle Architects, the renowned acoustic consultancy firm Marshall Day Acoustics based the dimensioning of the music rooms on NS 8178. They found that the standard provided an excellent basis for developing the building.

“During the project planning, they received approval to apply the principles contained in NS 8178 for room height, room volume, room area and room acoustics in the various types of music rehearsal room. This is an important premise for developing good acoustics for various music-related purposes,” explains Turunen-Rindel.

Setting the standard internationally

Work to make NS 8178 into an ISO standard is already in progress. In November 2018, an international working group started developing an international standard based on the Norwegian standard. 

Jacob Mehus, Standards Norway

Jacob Mehus, Standards Norway

“The standard for music rooms is of great significance for children and adults who work with music,” states Jacob Mehus, CEO of Standards Norway. “We are delighted that even more people will be able to benefit from the work we have done here in Norway.”

The project is being led by Jon G. Olsen, Chairman of the Akershus Music Council.

“Our hope is that an ISO standard will highlight the importance of good rehearsal rooms in the music world and in the construction industry, and will contribute to more people benefiting from good rehearsal facilities, whether professionals or amateurs,” says Olsen.

It is anticipated that the ISO standard will be completed by September 2022 at the very latest.

Jon G. Olsen, Akershus Music Council

Jon G. Olsen, Akershus Music Council, at the first meeting of the international working group. The meeting took place in Matsue, Japan, November 2018.

Last updated: 2019-12-17

NS 8178:2014


NOK 652,00 (excl. VAT)

Acoustic criteria for rooms and spaces for music rehearsal and performance

LanguageEngelskEdition: 1 (2014-04-01)

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